Through the years, I have been a pretty loyal fan of Banana Republic. It’s a great stop for basics – Oxford shirts, simple dresses, silk blouses and fun baubles to accent any outfit. It’s also affordable so it’s easy to go in and spend money on something trendy because you aren’t dropping a fortune to do so. All that being said, over the past two years I increasingly leave the store empty-handed . This isn’t because I’m on a shopping budget (although that reminds me that I really should be) but because the selection, design and quality of their offering is just disappointing. Their Monogram line is too expensive for what it is, there isn’t enough variety in their inventory (especially in the stores – there is so much more online) and their efforts to link up with shows like Mad Men are overdone. I love the style on Mad Men but who really wears a Betty Draper dress to work or on a Saturday afternoon? I might grab one for a theme party or Cape wedding but I’m certainly not wearing one to the office. It seems that their collections dominate the stores making it hard to find good basics through the noise. The cherry on top is the quality. A lot of the fabric used (especially with their blouses and chino pieces) feel very “Gap” to me and while Banana is part of the same group of stores as the Gap and Old Navy, I think the Banana customer expects a higher quality.
Despite all of this, I continue to have faith that Banana will deliver as they have so many times before. I was thrilled to see the ad in this month’s issue of Lucky announcing the partnership with Trina Turk. On June 7th Trink Turk’s line for Banana Republic will launch. Trina Turk’s signature look is bright, relaxed and feminine (like this gorgeous dress) so I expect great prints and a good dose of color. My expectations are high. Let’s hope that my post on June 8th tells a good story. I will be waiting at the doors on the 7th!